Vijayawada

Ganja smokers put denizens on the edge

Matter has to be tackled urgently, several corporators tell police

The city, which has been a transit point for the contraband ganja (cannabis), is also falling victim to the narcotic and its smokers, mostly youth, who are allegedly scaring the public in many areas of the city, of late.

Prowl of miscreant youth peddling and smoking ganja in several areas has become a major cause of concern for the residents, particularly women.

Though cases of consumption of ganja among youth, including college students in some areas, had been reported earlier, the issue came to the fore again with several city corporators raising it before the police at the meeting convened by the civic body to discuss city traffic problems on Monday.

“Women of our area are scared to walk on the streets due to prowl of ganja and blade batch members around the Subramanya Swami temple on the hill slope above Brahmin Street. Even as the miscreants look like teenage children, they pose a serious threat to the locals,” senior corporate Konaparti Venkateswara Rao of 38th municipal division complained to Joint Commissioner of Police Kanti Rana Tata.

CCTV a solution

Similarly, corporators Veermachineni Lalitha, Sukasi Saritha and Korikani Anuradha and others raised the issue and expressed concern over the safety of women and children in their areas. Most of the areas that witness such activity are slums and hill slope areas.

However, Ms. Anuradha came up with a solution that worked in her area.

She told police that miscreants addicted to ganja used to lurch in one of the junctions in her division every evening. “Unable to bear the mess, we have installed CCTV cameras at the junction to record their activity. After knowing that there were being watched, they never turned up at the junction,” she said.

Students falling prey

On the other hand, the contraband substance is also finding a place among college students who are falling prey to peddlers. The contraband is sold in small quantities for just tens of rupees. A couple of months ago, a student pursuing undergraduation course in a reputed college on K.T. Road in Kothapeta, was caught smoking ganja in the washroom by the college staff.

The college, which did not lodge a complaint with the police, suspended the student after inquiry.

In another such incident, security personnel at a multiplex found weed in the bag of a college student while checking it for food items. The mall management, however, did not lodge a complaint and dumped the weed, according to sources. It may be noted that the police have several times caught huge dumps of ganja in and around the city.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 4:27:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/ganja-smokers-put-denizens-on-the-edge/article23662739.ece

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